Banana and Cocoa Chiffon バナナとココアシフォン
A quick post for a lazy Friday… TGIF! Banana-themed bakes usually comes to mind when one has overripened remnants of an unfinished comb at home. And for me, its no exception. My default bake is a classic banana butter cake, from a recipe which I’d been using since the days when I started baking. In fact, it was my very first cake! I remember being totally overwhelmed by the sweetness and aroma of a banana cake when I was very young, in much disbelief that its actually from the yellow-skinned fruit which I’d so used to eating. How drastically the flavours transformed upon cooking!
But this time round, I’d crave for a lighter cake and a chiffon seemed the most apt! Banana with chocolate had always been best pals for eternity. I remember when I was in Rockhampton, Australia more than 10 years back, my pals and I bought bananas and chocolate from a nearby Woolsworth. Dipped fresh bananas in melted down chocolate and set them in the chiller… Sheer bliss! But I was too lazy to melt chocolate last night. So I guess Valrhona cocoa powder would do just fine. So here it is, an impromptu Banana and Cocoa Chiffon バナナとココアシフォン 🙂
This is modified from a pandan chiffon recipe which I’d been using all this while. The results are fairly reliable, so my hunch was that it would be a good recipe base for improvisations for flavours. Thankfully it didn’t let me down 🙂
Banana and Cocoa Chiffon バナナとココアシフォン (for a 21 cm tube pan)
4 egg yolks
50g fine-grained sugar
50g of corn oil
120g banana pulp/puree (X)
30g of Yakult (can be substituted with any cultured drink or buttermilk)
130g cake flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp dutch processed cocoa powder (I used Valrhona)
2 tbsp banana puree (Y)
6 egg whites
60g fine-grained sugar
Cream egg yolks with sugar until pale and creamy. It should have more than double its volume
Add corn oil, yakult, banana puree (X), salt and vanilla extract.
Double sift remaining dry ingredients i..e cake flour and baking powder and add to wet ingredients mixture until well incorporated
Divide batter into two portions by weight. Set one portion aside.
To the other portion, add cocoa powder and banana puree (Y).
Prepare meringue by whisking egg whites at high speed until it turns foamy
Add cream of tartar followed by caster sugar in at least 3 additions into egg whites while still beating
Whisk until stiff peaks are JUST obtained.
Divide meringue into two portions
To the first portion of cake batter (without cocoa powder) take 1/3 of the first portion of meringue and fold into egg yolk-flour batter. do this quickly until a thinner mixture is obtained. This bit of egg white is “sacrificed” for a more homogenised mixture which allows the subsequent meringue additions to be folded in more smoothly
Repeat the process with remaining of the first portion of the meringue in 2 successions, but this time, folding more slowly and carefully so as not to deflate it too much and destroy the meringue structure
Fold until no more egg white bits can be seen. do not overfold as more folding means more deflating
Repeat the entire process with the second portion of cake batter with cocoa powder and puree added, with the second portion of meringue.
Using a ladle, scoop batter into tube pan and while grasping tightly to the sides, alternating between the pale and cocoa batter
Rap the tube pan against a hard surface to remove any air bubbles. Alternatively, a wooden skewer or satay stick can be used to dredge through the batter very carefully to bring any large trapped air pockets to the surface.
Bake in a preheated oven at 170C for about 40 min.
Take the pan out once the baking is done and immediately invert the pan to cool.
NOTE: Puree the bananas with a blender (not food processor) JUST before adding to the batter. This prevents the bananas from turning brown too quickly. The cookbook default method of prevent this from happening is to add lemon juice to the freshly peeled bananas to lower the pH and denature the enzymes within. But this would invariably impart a slight sourish taste to the cake which I am not very keen on.
I used fine-grained sugar in place of caster sugar as used in most chiffon/meringue based recipes. While caster sugar would probably produce a cake with finer crumbs, fine-grained sugar was good enough for me for some lazy late night baking. One can replace with caster sugar if desired.
Have a lovely weekend ahead!